The assessment process culminates in the utilization of descriptions of psychological characteristics and behavioral tendencies as a basis for formulating conclusions and recommendations. Interpretations or assessment information are now translated into their implications for various decisions, and the overall purpose and eventual goal of assessment can accordingly be conceived as a way of facilitating decision making about classification, selection, placement, diagnosis, and treatment of people being evaluated. In this output phase, however, account must be taken of the fact that assessment data and the descriptions to which they give rise may have different implications for different kinds of people living in different circumstances. Most important in this regard are possible sources of bias, applicable base rates, value judgments calling for cutting-score adjustments, and the cultural background and social context of the person being evaluated. Good assessment decisions depend on recognizing these considerations and preventing them from exerting undue influence on conclusions and recommendations.
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